According to Barr—and confirmed by McConnell himself—McConnell repeatedly urged him to publicly dump cold water on Trump’s claims that the election had been stolen. As McConnell was asking Barr to speak out, he himself stayed silent about the outcome of the election even after Joe Biden had widely been called as the winner. Why wouldn’t McConnell do it himself? Because he worried that if he made Trump angry by rejecting his lies, Trump would turn against Republicans in the effort to win the two Georgia Senate runoff elections.
“Look, we need the president in Georgia,” McConnell told Barr, “and so we cannot be frontally attacking him right now. But you’re in a better position to inject some reality into this situation. You are really the only one who can do it.”
McConnell was begging Barr—as a fellow partisan Republican—to say that the election was conducted fairly as early as mid-November. Barr didn’t say it until Dec. 1.
McConnell could have helped quash Trump’s lies weeks earlier. He knew President Biden was the winner of the election. He knew Trump was just being a sore loser and that there was no real evidence of election irregularities that could have changed the result. But McConnell put his Senate majority over U.S. democracy again and again during that time. Every time he talked to reporters and offered vague statements about the need to “count all the votes” and didn’t say “this was a fair election and I congratulate President-elect Biden,” or something to that effect, McConnell made a decision to let Trump’s lies stand because while he knew Trump had lost, he felt he needed Trump to help him win the Senate, and winning the Senate was more important to him than the peaceful transition of power or Republican acceptance of election results.
Mitch McConnell cares about nothing more than Republican power. He will never act for the good of the United States if he doesn’t think it will benefit the Republican Party. He will never embrace democracy if he doesn’t think it will benefit the Republican Party. And because that’s his priority, he has been complicit in Donald Trump’s attacks on U.S. democracy.
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